Thursday, August 13, 2009

Squash-sagna with Homemade Crushed Tomatoes

Anybody have some zucchini and tomatoes growing in their gardens? Unfortunately, I do not- (my puny tomato plant has two or three tiny green ones- but that is all)- however, I am lucky enough to have several friends and family who do!

I promise this is better than is sounds. Chris even liked it. Despite the fact that it has visible zucchini.

As I note below- I cooked my instant brown rice in broth (because since I started making it, I have had too much). And I really think the extra flavor was worth it. Brown rice can be a bit bland, but this dish was definitely not bland at all.

Squash-sagna with Homemade Crushed Tomatoes
adapted from Cooking During Stolen Moments

  • 1/2 lb. ground beef, fully cooked and drained
  • 4 c. fully cooked brown rice (I cooked mine in broth- I think it made a huge difference)
  • 8 oz homemade crushed tomatoes (see below)
  • 14 oz spaghetti sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 c. green onions, sliced
  • 1 T. Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 t. Super salt
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 1/4 t. allspice
  • 4 medium-sized zucchini
  • 2 c. shredded Italian cheese blend


1. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, rice, tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, green onions and seasonings. Set aside.

2. Thinly slice zucchini squash lengthwise.

3. In a 13 x 9 casserole dish, layer beef mixture, zucchini slices and cheese until dish is full, ending with a layer of zucchini and cheese on top. Cover with foil and refrigerate until dinner time or bake immediately at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Homemade crushed tomatoes

I decided to make some crushed tomatoes because I got this many tomatoes from the in-laws.

While I like tomatoes quite a bit- this was too many to eat with a whole watermelon, peaches and other good stuff around. So instead of letting them go bad, I cooked them up.

To make tomato sauce/crushed tomatoes/diced tomatoes here is what you do:

  1. Mark an X on the butt of the tomato.
  2. Dip into a boiling pot for 30-60 seconds.
  3. Quickly take out and dump into a bowl of ice water.
  4. Peel off the skins that will magically be falling off.
  5. Cut tomato into quarters or less.
  6. Scoop out the seeds (mostly).
  7. Put about 1/4 of the tomatoes into a pot and bring to a boil.
  8. Add the rest of the tomatoes and simmer down.
  9. That is all!
I hope that this all makes sense. Good luck. If you don't want to make your own sauce- just use it from a can. Not a big deal.


Lucy Marie said...

Nice! I'm going to make this tonight because I just realized I don't have the ingredients for what I had planned. You saved my day!

sarah said...

This looks delicious!

SnoWhite said...

Girl - this looks amazing! yum. It's on my list :-)

My name is PJ. said...

You always have such great photos for each of the steps! You made the zucchini look palatable...I still hate it, though!